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Senate Rejects Trump’s Emergency Declaration as 12 Republicans Break Rank

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Twelve Senate Republicans broke ranks Thursday, joining Democrats to pass a resolution that seeks to block President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to secure the southern border.

The 59-41 vote in the Senate sets up a veto battle between Trump and Congress. Last month, the resolution passed the Democrat-controlled House 245-182.

“I’ll do a veto. It’s not going to be overturned,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, according to The Associated Press. “It’s a border security vote.”

Trump had said long before the vote that he would veto the resolution and issued a one-word tweet minutes after the vote.

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Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, said her opposition to the declaration was based on standing for the proper role of Congress in funding government, The Hill reported.

“That is why this issue is not about strengthening our border security, a goal that I support and have voted to advance … It is a solemn occasion involving whether or not this body will stand up for its institutional prerogatives and will support the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution,” she said. “We must stand up and defend Congress’s institutional powers as the framers intended that we would. Even when doing so is inconvenient or goes against the outcome that we might prefer.”

Other Republicans who voted against the president’s declaration were Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mitt Romney and Mike Lee of Utah; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Marco Rubio of Florida; Roy Blunt of Missouri; Rand Paul of Kentucky; Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania; Rob Portman of Ohio; Jerry Moran of Kansas; and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

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Neither chamber of Congress, based on the vote totals in passing the resolution, can override the expected veto.

Trump tweeted last-minute pleas to GOP senators to support him and said those who opposed him were doing the work of House Democrats.

“Prominent legal scholars agree that our actions to address the National Emergency at the Southern Border and to protect the American people are both CONSTITUTIONAL and EXPRESSLY authorized by Congress….,” Trump wrote Thursday.

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“A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!!” he tweeted.

Several Republicans spoke out in support of Trump’s declaration.

“We have reached a moment of crisis, but it’s not a constitutional crisis. It’s a crisis at the border, a crisis of American sovereignty. When hundreds of thousands of foreigners arrive at the southern border and demand entry, that’s not migration. That an emergency,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who voted with Trump.

Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, said Democrats are to blame for the nation’s border security problem.

“There is a crisis at the border and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have prevented a solution,” Gardner said, according to The Washington Post. “It should never have come to this, but in the absence of congressional action, the president did what Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer refused to do.”

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said passing the resolution was a major constitutional issue.

“This is not a normal vote,” the New York Democrat said. “This will be a vote about the very nature of our Constitution and the separation of powers.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, focused on the situation at the border that caused Trump to act.

“Let’s not lose sight of the particular question that’s before us later today, whether the facts tell us there’s truly a humanitarian and security crisis on our Southern border and whether the Senate, for some reason, feels this particular emergency on our own border does not rise to the other national emergencies current in effect,” he said.

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